Free Adobe Alternatives

Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.concept art

MediBang Paint is a FREE lightweight digital painting and comic creation program that comes loaded with brushes, fonts, pre-made backgrounds, and other resources.

Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It’s free and open source.

Scribus has evolved into one of the premier Open Source page layout program

Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor.

HitFilm Express. Perfect for students, YouTubers, and beginner filmmakers.

Apple and the Next Big Thing

Bingo. There will be major new products from Apple, someday, when they’re ready. There is no rush for them. If you’re worried about Apple’s near-future success, the key is their execution on their existing products. The Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch are all businesses that any company would kill for. Apple has all of them, and none of them are going anywhere. Apple needs to keep them insanely great where they already are, and raise them to insanely great where they aren’t.

Source: Daring Fireball: Apple and the Next Big Thing

I have always said, Apple doesn’t release because they can or people want them to or to “be first”, they release when are fully ready and only very rarely when they have to.

Mass Adoption: Why Design Is The Missing Link

As a result, only 200 machines were manufactured. However, the newly-formed Apple had grander ambitions and, following subsequent Apple II and Apple III models, the company created the Macintosh — an updated, “user-friendly” version of its predecessors that was designed to feel more like a home appliance and less like an industrial machine.

Now, 35 years later, the Macintosh is largely considered to have pioneered the mass adoption of home computing. So what happened? Why did the Macintosh achieve success where previous Apple computers failed? In short: User experience (UX).

It’s safe to say that Apple has mastered the UX dilemma. However, we’re starting to see similar obstacles appear in a new tech industry that’s similarly struggling to bring cutting-edge innovation to the everyday consumer — cryptocurrency.

Source: Cryptocurrency Mass Adoption: Why Design Is The Missing Link – BlockTribune

IINA – The modern media player for macOS

IINA is born to be a modern macOS application, from its framework to the user interface. It adopts the post-Yosemite design language of macOS and keeps up the pace of new technologies like Force Touch, Touch Bar, and Picture-in-Picture.

Source: IINA – The modern media player for macOS

Tesla critic changes tune on Elon Musk: ‘I think it’s time to re-evaluate the man’

“I think it’s time for a re-evaluation. I think it’s time to look at the man’s achievements, rather than his public image. Like him or not, Elon Musk is surely the prime example of a brilliant entrepreneur.

“He makes state-of-the-art electric cars. OK, he leaned heavily on green tax credits, but the Tesla is a stand-out vehicle. He had the vision. A lot of people talk about their “vision,” but he went out and did it. You’ve heard of SpaceX. That’s an Elon Musk company. He had a vision for reusable rockets, and he went out and did that, too… That’s an achievement.

“You’ve heard of the Boring Company… This is Musk’s contribution to future mass transit. The point is, he did it. He just offered a tour of the tunnel he’s already built in southern California. It’s not just talk.

“In the age of social media, we tend to fixate on the negatives. It’s easy to pour scorn on someone who behaves like Elon Musk. But step back, and look at what he has actually done: He’s in the car business, the space business, the mass transit business. He’s got a product in all three industries. That is tangible success. Give the man credit.”

Source: Tesla critic changes tune on Elon Musk: ‘I think it’s time to re-evaluate the man’


… makes spiffy HTML5site templates that are:

Source: HTML5 UP! Responsive HTML5 and CSS3 Site Templates

Why So Many Companies Fail The Hiring Game

The CEO is the root of the success or failure of his/her company and team. The most important step of the strategies below is the first one. Without it, everything else begins to unravel.

1. Know that your team will never outperform you. If you are a B-player, even your superstars will eventually become C- and D-players. Step up your game.

2. Notice the superstars you encounter. They can be CEOs, salespeople, customer service reps, etc. Today, start making two lists: one of superstar qualities and one of traits you never want to deal with — or have. Continually update these lists.

3. Be honest. For every item on the lists, rate how much of that is you on a scale of 1 to 10. On the superstar list, if you’re below 7, that item needs work. On the slacker list, if you’re a 3 or above, that one does. Commit to this by finding five colleagues and two to three members of your leadership team who you trust, and ask them to rate you.

4. Rate your leadership team on the same list, and have them rate themselves. Have a thoughtful, compassionate conversation with them about your new standard (the superstar list) for yourself and the company. Discuss areas for improvement, how to make that happen, and a timeline for reevaluation.

5. Hire and promote true leaders. These are not people who are promoted because they made the most sales or closed a big deal. Doing that is a testament to their selling skills, not their leadership skills. Using your superstar traits list, create a checklist for evaluating where candidates rank in terms of traits that qualify them for promotion.

6. Create a leadership training program. Bring in outside expertise if necessary.

7. Hire for traits, not resumes. Evaluate each employee position. What are the traits you want each person who fills this role to have? Traits are different than skills. Closing sales is a skill. What are the traits exemplified by someone who has this skill (e.g., tenacity or creativity)? When you interview, look for the traits you want, and train for the skills you need.

8. Create an onboarding program for all new employees. While we’ve been talking about leadership, these are skills and traits you want in all employees. Many will not have them when they start. You may need to hire people who have strong potential. When you do, start molding them into superstars the minute they walk in the door.

9. Invest in creating a superstar culture. You can find specific strategies here. Remember, living this culture applies to everyone, including the CEO.

I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t

Facebook lets me be lazy the way a man in a stereotypical 1950s office can be lazy. Facebook is the digital equivalent of my secretary, or perhaps my wife, yelling at me not to forget to wish someone a happy birthday, or to inform me I have a social engagement this evening.
— Read on

YouTube removed 58 million videos last quarter for violating policies

Between July and September, the company took down 7.8 million videos, nearly 1.7 million channels [and all of the 50.2 million videos that were available from them] and over 224 million comments, and YouTube noted that machine learning continues to play a major role in that effort.

“We’ve always used a mix of human reviewers and technology to address violative content on our platform, and in 2017 we started applying more advanced machine learning technology to flag content for review by our teams,” the company said. “This combination of smart detection technology and highly-trained human reviewers has enabled us to consistently enforce our policies with increasing speed.”

Of the more than 7.8 million videos that were taken down for violating YouTube’s community guidelines, 81 percent were detected by the company’s automated systems. And the majority of those videos — 74.5 percent — didn’t receive a single view before being detected. Nearly three-quarters of the removed videos were spam, while videos violating child safety and adult content rules each accounted for 10 percent of what was taken down. Only 0.4 percent of removed videos included content that promoted violence or violent extremism.

As for entire channels, they’re removed after they’ve accrued three strikes for violating community guidelines, if they feature severe abuse or are found to be “wholly dedicated” to violating YouTube’s guidelines. Nearly 80 percent of the 1.7 million removed channels were taken down for promoting spam, over 12 percent were removed for hosting adult content and 4.5 percent were taken down for violating child safety rules. And because all of a channel’s videos are removed when it’s terminated, 50.2 million additional videos were removed in the last quarter through channel terminations.

Source: YouTube removed 58 million videos last quarter for violating policies

Heroku vs. a private server vs. Kubernetes

Heroku vs. a private server vs. Kubernetes

  1. Use Heroku (or something similar) whenever you can. It’s easy and painless. But sometimes you need disk storage, or your own database server, or a few apps which cooperate. This is hard to do with Heroku.
  2. You can always run your own private server. We all know the tradeoffs here. It’s easy (but only if you know Unix by heart!), and you can set it up however you like. But servers often turn into a mess of badly-documented customizations, they need to be updated all the time, they’re hard to scale, etc.
  3. Kubernetes is basically like a heavily customizable Heroku, with all the good and bad that “heavily customizable” implies. Kubernetes assumes that you have a cluster of servers, but like Heroku’s servers, you basically want a pool of machines that get managed for you. Unlike Heroku, Kubernetes can manage disks, run databases, etc.


You can even install support for new kinds of “resources”. For example, gitkube basically turns your Kubernetes into something more like Heroku, complete with git push.


If you have a one-piece app (stateless, or state in hosted service such as s3) then package it into a container. Your favourite cloud probably offers a simple interface for running it, keeping it up, and even autoscaling. No need to complicate things with kubernetes.

What’s really going on here

AWS is great! But it locks you into Amazon. Of course, Google, Microsoft, Digital Ocean, etc., all see that this is a problem. So do a lot of Amazon customers. And they all realize that we can’t do everythingon Heroku.

So Kubernetes is basically there to paper over 80% of the differences between the different cloud setups. It acts an interface to AWS, or Google Cloud, or to Digital Ocean. It abstracts away servers like Heroku does. It runs Docker containers. It can manage disks, hook up load balancers, manage rolling deploys, all that stuff.

To me Kubernetes solves a different problem than Heroku. Where they both are about application hosting, herok seems focused on speed and ease of deployment for a developer. What we call a “Platform as a Service”. They provide a databases and a runtime, you give them source code and configuration, and you’re off to the races.

Kubernetes is technology lower in the stack. The problem it is focused on is: how do I manage multiple applications running on multiple machines? let’s say, for example, I have three servers. To serve my application, I have a MySQL database and an API server. I get a lot of traffic, so maybe I want to run multiple copies of the API server. Which machine do I run what on? What do I do if I need to add a third instance of the API server?

Kubernetes says, “Let me handle that” You put Kubernetes in charge of all your servers, and it gives you a “cluster”. Think of it as a super-server. (Maybe it’s 3 machines, maybe it’s 5, it doesn’t matter).

Then you tell kubernetes about your applications: “I need two copies of API server that each need 1 CPU and 256Mb RAM” and 1 copy of MySQL that needs 0.5 CPU and 256Mb RAM. It decided how to spread the work across the servers.

You can add and remove servers to and from the “cluster” as you need, but you don’t need to think about what runs where.

Source: I want to learn about Kubernetes